Monday, August 27, 2012

Four Android development platforms that will change your life

Read the full article on Tech Republic 

4 development platforms for Android that are user friendly and allow for some unique features.

Flashy upgrades and constant hype seems to keep Apple at the center of the public's intrigue when it comes to mobile technology. Yet a very large portion of the technology and use of mobile phones today goes through the Android system. For those looking to access this market and dive into application development, I've found four platforms to help you through your transition and create a stellar application."
"Android attracts some of the most talented developers around, thanks to the continued growth of Google Play. In addition, the environment’s open nature makes it a welcome haven for developers seeking refuge from the Apple App Store’s strict guidelines, and a lack of any real approval process in Google Play makes investing time and money into developing an Android app a much less risky venture.
But with all the attractive qualities Google Play offers to anyone in the mobile development game, there are hurdles standing between developers and a smash-hit app. Android is notoriously fragmented when it comes to hardware, and many manufacturers have their own proprietary modifications of Android (HTC Sense comes to mind)."

New Law Demands Higher Standards For Drivers And Distributors

Read the full article on Industrial Distribution

The FMCSA is putting into place stricter regulations for distributors and their drivers.
The FMCSA has been slowly moving forward with new regulations requiring that fleet owners and drivers upgrade to stricter policy on electronic recording devices and hours of service, among other changes. Some businesses and owners within the industry have strongly opposed the new regulations, arguing that the costs will outweigh the benefits, while others still argue that increased safety regulations will only increase market stability and consistency. Either way, change seems imminent within the field of distribution, and it's only a matter of time until this issue is resolved, changing the landscape of the business indefinitely.

"Washington constantly moves forward with regulations and changes for the trucking industry. Mandates requiring on board electronic records (EOBR) were blocked in an amendment, however, a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) supported law will force truckers and distribution companies to assume more responsibility for their safety record on the nation’s highways. The bill was awaiting presidential signature as of July 6, 2012.

According to Blaze reporter Liz Klimas, the bill is controversial at best. Views about the benefits and necessity for the EOBR vary widely from the opinion that this is just another case of “Big Brother” to a genuine belief that the measures will provide safer roads and lower operating costs for the industry overall."
Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Benefits Of Making Direct Mail Marketing Personal

Read the full article on Blag-O-Vision

Treating your readers with a personal touch will get you much farther and build a stronger relationship.
When it comes right down to it content is king. Period. If you provide excellent material then your readers, fans, audience, whoever you are speaking to or are trying to connect with will actually relate and connect with you / your product. It proves that you are invested in what they are, and can speak with your audience on their level as equals, not just some brand on a pedestal shouting down commands to buyers. This is applicable to large corporations, distributors, websites, mom and pop stores, and even social media profiles. By being personal and catering to why people are paying attention you can maintain that relationship.

"There are a few disputes about marketing regarding what avenues a business needs to utilize and which are the most effective and profiting. But each time a new conclusion is drawn, something changes the game, a new social media outlet, a Google engine update, the next mobile device. The answer appears simple but daunting: Use them all. Email, postal mail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc, can all help your marketing efforts. Just as each company is unique and feeds off the ingenuity of its various workers, the platform for reaching its audience is equally distinct. While it is essential for any business to use any many means of marketing as possible, spreading out too far can run the impact of its messages thin. A tighter focus on certain direct mail practices can produce personal messages that capture attention."

  Google Plus Profile

Digital Sheep - Grazing On The Internet

Read the full article on Bill Mullins Tech Thoughts

Are you a digital leader, creating useful and engaging art and content, or simply a follower?
Personally, being called a sheep is a major insult. Essentially it means that one is a follower and incapable of making creative decisions, which really gets my goat (pun intended). It's so much easier to take information that is already provided to you than it is to create your own, and with the wave of information being thrown at internet users it's never been easier, or more difficult depending on your point of view, to simply accept the path one is on. For innovation in any realm to occur it is paramount to break through that barrier of complacence and push into unknown areas, even if that means taking the time to edit a photograph or comment on a blog post. 

"With the Internet and social media providing instant satisfaction and entertainment, it’s very easy to get caught up in consuming an absurd amount of information. Instead of being spoon fed commercials and media from a handful of television channels, now it is coming from everywhere and directly to your person at all times. Though people still have the freedom to comment and believe what they will, the vast majority of internet users have simply evolved into digital sheep devouring content constantly.
In the modern age, digital sheep are information technology users (more specifically, Internet users) who are happy and satisfied to “graze” off the vast information fields available on the web. In other words, they’re just consumers, not bothering to produce anything—but more importantly, are unaware of the potential consequences of their attitude and behavior."
Google Plus Profile
Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Paleo Diet: eating raw meat might be the healthy route

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Eat like a caveman would with the Paleo Diet, which is how the human body was designed to digest food.
So there have been some pretty crazy diets in the past: fruit only, carb only, small portions, larger portions, damn near everything imaginable. The Paleo Diet is taking things to next level though by insisting that people eat only the most natural food possible which includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, and yes that includes raw meat. Get ready to tear right into a big hunk of steak.

"The Paleolithic diet is a relatively new approach to weight loss that promotes reverting to the type of food our ancestors ate – vegetables, meats, fish, eggs, nuts, and fruits. Foods that came about during the Neolithic era – sugar, grains and cheese, for example – are not allowed with this diet."
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Collaboration In The Cloud

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Use the cloud to your advantage.
Guess what? You don't even have to be on the same continent to speak with someone face to face. I can whip out my phone right now and talk to a friend in Canada or live chat with another on the east coast. Businesses large and small typically are intimidated by change, but with an innovation like cloud collaboration, not changing is detrimental to your productivity. You can save time, money, and headache by working with individuals all over the world, and now you can do so almost flawlessly.

"Collaboration and cloud computing are the wonder couple of the newest internet technologies and concepts. Even though collaboration has been around since the square wheel was invented, people have continued to work separately.

Now With technology advancing by leaps and bounds, business professionals are finding that by making collaboration easy with cloud computing, they have complete access to all of their information from almost any device imaginable, including their cell phones."

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Green Mountain State Just Got a Little Greener with Eagle Creek’s New Hydroelectric Facilities

Read the full guest article at

New hydroelectric facilities in Vermont will provide green energy for the state.
Green energy is the way of the future, though it will be a long time coming. Completely sustainable energy sources such as wind, solar, and hydro only accounts for roughly 14 percent of the United State's energy usage. While we will need to continue to use older and less environmentally friendly forms of energy generation, strides made towards renewable sources of power are crucial for the benefit of the planet. Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, LLC is doing just that, pushing forward with hydroelectric technology.

Putting the “green” back in the Green Mountain State, Vermont’s Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, LLC recently acquired the development rights for two hydroelectric facilities from Blue Heron Hydro, LLC. This acquisition marks the first pure development project for Eagle Creek, and is scheduled to be built on Army Corps of Engineers dams in southern Vermont. Although the project represents a major step for the company in terms of fostering growth and opportunity, it also indicates the advancement of environmentally friendly facilities and an increase in general public awareness of energy conservation on a large scale.

Design ideas for tossable items: Transforming your trash to treasures

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Artistic ideas for common disposable items.
As a sculptor myself, I am always on the look out for cheap materials that I can use for my next project. Tons of one item can be a gold mine for creativity, whether it's duct tape, pencils for my latest piece of work, twigs or rocks, or upcycled trash. By re-imagining the what an item can be used for or manipulated in to, you can turn anything into a piece of personal art. While one way to do this is purely for aesthetic purposes, by reusing materials that are to be thrown out you can help the environment and unleash your artistic side at the same time. 

"In our prepackaged society, where everything is individually wrapped for freshness, garbage is more than a given. Indeed, we produce an inordinate amount of trash every year, and a lot of that comes from discarding household items that could be transformed into something else with a little care and creativity.

Repurposed items not only help to reduce the mountains of waste that are carted off to the local dump, but they also help you save significant amounts of money. When you don't need to run to the nearest store every time you need a new accoutrement for your home, you may develop a deeper respect for the belongings that you already own. With a little inspiration and a lot of creativity, you can transform your trash to treasures."
Wednesday, August 8, 2012

13 Chicago Festivals that Celebrate Summer

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So living in the Midwest has been nothing but a treat for me; I actually moved out to New York after graduating from college and ended up coming back because I missed it so much. It does take a bad rap as fly over country, larger cities argue that there isn't much to do out here. I strongly disagree. No there may not be public transportation or huge Broadway productions but there is still a ton to do, you just have to know where to look for it. Midwestern Adventures is a great place to find out information like this, and right now is the back end of festival season. 

"Are you looking for a fun way to celebrate summer? Find what you’re looking for when you visit Chicago. The Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau works alongside local communities to provide a variety of great summer activities and festivals. Don’t stay home relaxing on the sofa. Find food, music, fun and entertainment at Chicago festivals and events."
Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Atlas Chugged: How GPS Tracking and Mapping Can Help You Save Tons of Money in Gas

Read the full guest article at

Let's face it, electric cars just have not caught on yet. The charging stations are easier to build on your own than to find just sitting in any random parking lot or gas station. It's reality that transportation options via burning fossil fuels are still here to stay, but that doesn't necessarily mean that all is lost in the way of benefiting the environment. Past walking everywhere or riding a bike, there are methods to maximize the efficiency of your car. Driving with the windows up can decrease drag and increase fuel efficiency, reaching an optimal speed will help as well, and you can actually use your GPS device to find eco-friendly routes. Find out more:

"The constant need to fuel your car and the emissions that doing so releases into the air can be incredibly frustrating for motorists, and more so, those that are eco-conscious. With the focus slowly shifting towards zero emission cars, there is hope on the horizon for those of us sinking significant portions of our paychecks and social conscience straight into the gas tank. The truth is, however, not every one can afford to buy a new fuel-efficient automobile, and if we can, the payout or reimbursement certainly isn't immediate. For the time being, there is one prime option that those of us looking to help our wallet and the environment can take. That option is a three-letter acronym that most of us use, not in terms of less fuel usage, but for getting somewhere on the fastest way possible. Although it might not be via the fastest route, as it turns out, your GPS may just help you use less gas in your travels."
Wednesday, August 1, 2012

5 Tips to Develop a Successful Email Marketing Campaign

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The main factor to take away from any form of social networking, especially email marketing, is that content is king. The constant barrage of information directly to the user is already a bold move, to do so with sup par information is simply unacceptable. The content begets trust and a rapport between the user and content provider to where they continually come back for more and identify you / your organization as a pillar in your field.

"The world of advertising used to revolve around print media and television commercials. The advancements made in computer technology and the Internet has given businesses a new, powerful tool to get the word out – emails. Creating a targeted email marketing campaign with ‘gotcha’ style takes practice and planning."